Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Would You Do It Just Because Your Friends Do?

In this case, the simple answer was yes! My morning started with the short line to get into the Quechan parking lot on the California side of the border, just west of the Colorado River.

Los Algodones is one of those border towns that are built around specific industries. This town exists primarily to provide optical, dental, and pharmaceutical services, primarily to Americans walking across the border for the day.

There are lots of tall fences to get people headed the right direction. The primary purpose of the fences is to herd the northbound pedestrians and traffic to the appropriate Customs & Immigration staff. As a southbound pedestrian, you pass through a gate in the fence but there's no one to check your paperwork. Easy peasy.
If you didn't know about the primary businesses in town before you crossed the border, it becomes immediately apparent. There's no reason to not know, given the number of billboards on Interstate 8 advertising Los Algodones services.

The real reason for this picture is the power lines. Abundant overhead lines is one of the obvious signs that you've crossed the border.

Everywhere you turn are signs advertising services - primarily Los Algodones' big three.

Some of the signs make it clear that some dentists purport to be experts at everything. 

It didn't take long to find the sign I wanted. Dr. Maria Fonseca had been recommended by friends and friends of friends. I also looked into another dentist in a nearby town that was recommended, but that dentist didn't respond to an e-mail query while Dr. Fonseca did.

Her office was clean and modern and all of her staff spoke English which made everything easy. She had both English speaking and Spanish speaking patients in the office while I was there.

My local dentist had recommended an extraction, bone graft, and then a bridge. The only problem was that the price they wanted did not include a deed to the Brooklyn bridge, but should have given their prices.

The before picture. Dr. Fonseca (right) and the bone graft specialist that she called in, had me in the chair on schedule, and back across the border within the hour. I was very impressed with the level of care and all my dealings. I'll be back in a couple months for the bridge building.


  1. Good info....always wondered if non full timers ever go south for dental work.
    If we have another year like this one, we will be making the same trip to Los Algodones.

    1. I still officially have a local dentist, but I'm giving serious thought to taking all my dental business to Mexico.

  2. Oh my! What a photo! Well, I am glad things are working out so far with Dr. Fonseca. I really liked her, even though I wasn't smiling quite that much. ;-)

    1. I couldn't resist the temptation. I felt like a fish. The Drs were both hams, but excellent.

  3. Good chapter. Thanks for the info....Can you believe I got my entire truck/RV rig through that 180 degree turn at the border crossing?

    1. Does that mean you're one of those guys that can't read the warning signs or did you just want to experiment??